Choosing a university is an incredibly difficult yet important decision. There are many factors that come into play, all of which really confuse the question, “What university should I go to?”
In Canada, we are lucky to have so many top notch universities at somewhat reasonable prices (especially compared to those South of us). That choice also creates a lot of confusion and the need for proper decision making. At UniversityHub.ca, we understand this, and have therefore created the MatchU quiz. This MatchU quiz takes about 3 minutes to complete and involves answering a few questions. Your answers to those questions then match you up with the best universities for you in Canada so you can choose which university to go to. What University Should I Go to in Canada.
How to Find Your University Match
How to choose a university involves a few steps – steps that we have broken down into components of the MatchU quiz, each essential in determining the most personalized match for each individual.
1. University Must-Haves: Most Important Aspects of University
The first thing we do is ask you to rank the 5 most important things to you about a university. This should be the first thing you think of when you ask yourself “What University Should I Go to in Canada”. At uHub, we have broken up the university experience into 8 categories, and within those categories, a total of 55 criteria. The categories are:
Based on the MatchU results thus far, the most important factors that students have identified have been:
- teaching quality
- quality & quantity of recruiters
- student residences
That being said, just because it is important to other students doesn’t mean it is important to all, hence the need to find out which university is best for you by taking the MatchU quiz. Which University Should I Go to in Canada?
We say top 5 because typically there at 5 main factors that might be important to the student, and after that the others are just afterthoughts or additional bonuses but really not deciding factors. This is the major first step in determine which university is best for you. Therefore, we recommend reviewing our 55 criteria and highlighting these top 5 factors and either doing the MatchU quiz or doing your independent research to find out which universities excel in those areas, rather than just an overall rank that some other rankings out there offer.
2. Distance Away: Where would you be willing to attend university?
This might seem like a no brainer, but nonetheless it needs to be explicitly asked. This question should be independent of any universities you already have in mind that may be in given locations. It’s possible that you have absolutely no preference, and therefore your answer to this question does not impact your MatchU results at all.
The reason why you should this is mainly because you’ll be spending at least 4 years there and you’ll want to go to a place that you are comfortable and want to be, rather than feeling stuck there. For instance, if you get home sick frequently and severely, if you live far away, this stress may negatively impact your university experience. Conversely, perhaps you want to ‘cut the cord’ so to speak and therefore want to get as far away as possible in order to get over that home sickness. Another thing to consider is how easily you want to be able to get home. If you intend to travel home frequently, you may want to limit the distance so that you could just travel by bus rather than having to fly. These are just more examples of how the distance away from home can be crucial in how to pick a university in Canada.
The MatchU quiz uses a detailed algorithm to account for location preferences along with all of the other components. This is an important factor in choosing a university in Canada. What University Should I Go to
3. Program: Which program do you want to study?
Every university has its academic strengths and weaknesses and therefore it is important to attend a university that caters to your academic preferences. For instance, maybe you heard that University Y is a great university overall and you want to study Computer Science there. Problem is, University Y doesn’t have a Computer Science program. As such, University Y probably isn’t a great fit for you. What to consider when choosing a university
Most rankings out there either rank programs at the Graduate study level, or just the university as a whole which really does not provide much benefit to an undergraduate student. Thus, it is important to research the program you are interested in and find out what universities have those programs. You could go to many university websites and check the curriculum, or as an alternative, you could take uHub’s MatchU quiz which takes these things into account for you so you don’t have to do that level of research because it is a very daunting task to do properly.
4. Tuition Cost: are you cost sensitive?
It is entirely possible that you are very tight on funds or want to minimize the amount of student loans you take on. As such, it is imperative you take this into account when deciding which university to choose. Conversely, perhaps cost is not important to you at all in which case the MatchU quiz will not make any additional modifications to your match as a result of this factor. This can however be one of the many important reasons for choosing a university.
It is important to note that not all programs at a university cost the same and therefore just because a university has an inexpensive average, a given program could be quite expensive. It is also very important to note that there are often in-province and out of province tuition prices, in addition to international student prices. In particular, in Quebec, university tuition is capped for Quebec residents, but that doesn’t mean the same price is remotely the same for non-Quebec Canadian residents.
5. City Size Preference: Big City or Small Town?
Consider the following pros and cons as to whether you want to attend a big city or small town university:
|Big||-Good for people who like to do a variety of activities with different crowds
-Better access to conveniences and entertainment
-Typically better access to public transit
-Good if you’re from a small town and want a change
-Good if you’re from a big city and want to keep it that way
|-Typically higher cost of off campus rent
-Can be overwhelming
-Potential to have too many distractions
|Small||-Good for people who really like small-town feels
-Ideal for those who really appreciate strong community
-Typically less time spent on transportation
-Usually lower off campus rent
|-Can be too boring for some
-Possibility of things becoming too routine
-Lack of access to some normal conveniences
-Can be tougher to find jobs
This differentiation is important as some people may prefer the big city full of opportunities compared to a smaller, tight community feel. The MatchU quiz takes into account your preference of city size (or lack therefore) in order to spare you the research and provide you a perfect university match.
These are therefore the major decision points that impact which university to choose in Canada.
How does the MatchU work?
uHub has surveyed thousands of students across Canada about their university experiences in order to determine how students rank different aspects of their university experience. Specifically, we ask the students to rank those 55 aforementioned criteria at the university they attended. These results, along with thorough analysis and research on publically available data make up the basis of our MatchU quiz. How to choose a university in Canada.
Finally, once you have decided which universities to apply to, it’s important to have an idea as to which ones you will have a chance of getting into. UniversityHub.ca also has a tool to calculate your candidacy for every university program at many of the top universities in Canada. All you need to do is register.